Alex Morgan scored early, the U.S. WNT scored often and when it was over the Americans had kicked off its World Cup Qualifying run with a 5-0 win over Costa Rica.
Morgan scored 12 seconds from the opening whistle, latching onto Carli Lloyd’s headed pass and finishing for what is probably the fastest goal in U.S. WNT history.
The Americans had never lost a match at the CONCACAF Championships and they had never lost to the Ticas either, two streaks that were never in jeopardy tonight in Frisco, Texas.
Neither were the Americans put off by the battle raging with its own association, no, not even being sued by U.S. Soccer could slow the defending World Cup Champions.
In the ninth minute Crystal Dunn was fouled just outside the 18-yard box but the speed and quickness that beat her marker also may have put off the referee, who incorrectly pointed to the spot.
Of course, Carli Lloyd banged home the pk and for all intents and purposes, this match was done. Dunn would add a goal of her own, Morgan collected a second and Christen Press added a late capper to send the Americans into Saturday’s match versus Mexico on a positive note.
Mexico will also be feeling good about itself after earning a 4-0 win over Puerto Rico behind a hat trick from Maribel Dominguez earlier in the evening.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis will be happy with the win and with the way her newcomers meshed with the World Cup holdovers. Dunn and Lindsey Horan justified their starting roles and 17-year-old Mallory Pugh looked the part when she checked into the match.
Just two teams will advance from this tournament, making the U.S. Mexico match a big one on Saturday.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 2 5
CRC 0 0 0
USA – Alex Morgan (Carli Lloyd) 1st minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty) 9
USA – Crystal Dunn 15
USA – Alex Morgan (Carli Lloyd) 62
USA – Christen Press (Tobin Heath) 83
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (19-Jaelene Hinkle, 68), 8-Julie Johnston (12-Christen Press, 74), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 14-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan, 16-Crystal Dunn (2-Mallory Pugh, 68), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 17-Tobin Heath; 13-Alex Morgan
Subs Not Used: 3-Samantha Mewis, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Emily Sonnett, 15-Stephanie McCaffrey, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 20-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis
CRC: 1-Dinnia Diaz, 5-Diana Saénz, 6-Carol Sanchez, 7-Melissa Herrera (17-Karla Villalobos, 69), 8-Daniela Cruz, 9-Carolina Venegas, 10-Shirley Cruz (capt.) (3-Gloriana Villalobos, 80), 11-Raquel Rodríguez, 14-María Barrantes, 16-Katherine Alvarado (15-Cristin Granados, 46), 20-Wendy Acosta
Subs Not Used: 2-Gabriela Guillén, 4-María Benavides, 12-Lixy Rodríguez, 13-Yalitza Sánchez, 19-Fabiola Sánchez
Head coach: Amelia Valverde
Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 23 / 2
Shots on Goal: 12 / 2
Saves: 2 / 7
Corner Kicks: 9 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 7
Offside: 2 / 0
CRC – Dinnia Diaz (caution) 15th minute
CRC – Katherine Alvarado (caution) 29
USA – Julie Johnston (caution) 31